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Solar Thermal Design and efficiency? Answered

I have finished building and testing my diy solar thermal collector. i decided to paint the outside framework black, will this make a difference? also i was wondering how to work out the efficiency and power it can produce? the temperature difference was 17 deg going in and 29 going out at a flow rate of .36 litres a minute and the solar radiation was 800 watts per m^2. the temp difference might seem low and there a 2 reasons for this. 1)im in ireland and 2)i never bled the radiator so i have a feeling the water only flew across the bottom rather than circulate.

Thanks

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rich5007
rich5007

10 years ago

thanks it was .53 m^2 bit on the small side that would make it a little over 18% efficient?

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steveastrouk
steveastrouk

Answer 10 years ago

No, the other way, you have 1/2 sq metre, which can only intercept 400W, and you've caught 300 of 'em - 75%  Not bad at all. "Suspiciously" not bad ! What were your meaurements made with ? 

Steve

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rich5007
rich5007

Answer 10 years ago

for the flow rate i used a simple method of timing a litre in a container, and i used a digital thermostat which could give 2 different readings one for inlet one for outlet but it would be reading off the fittings rather than the water so it might be less accurate.

DSC00113.JPG
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steveastrouk
steveastrouk

Answer 10 years ago

Couple of things that I thought of last night. How is the water flowing ? You'd benefit from going IN on the lower corner and OUT on the upper one - no air locks that way.

Also, timing a litre rather than a minute will improve your accuracy.


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rich5007
rich5007

Answer 10 years ago

yes I stood the collector vertical so water would come in the bottom and out the top that way it would self bleed.  as for the timing the method you said to do was actually what I did, I actually said it wrong in my above comment. it took around 3 minutes to fill the litre container.

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rich5007
rich5007

Answer 10 years ago

the photo above i painted the outside framework black, was this ok to do?, i felt it would help attract more heat

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steveastrouk
steveastrouk

Answer 10 years ago

Sounds like a good idea to me. Did you insulate the back of the box too ? 

Steve

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rich5007
rich5007

Answer 10 years ago

yes and the sides on the inside were all insulated

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steveastrouk
steveastrouk

10 years ago

You've gained
12 x 0.36 x 4200 Joules/minute, or 302 joules/second or 302 W.

What was the actual area of your panel ?  If it was 1sq m. you've managed 300/800 or 37% efficiency

Steve